WHU General

Partnership Between WHU Entrepreneurship Center and LANXESS

Digital innovation challenge as a starting point for cooperation

The Entrepreneurship Center at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management aims to create a rich entrepreneurial ecosystem in which students, investors, startups, and corporations can interact. To achieve this goal, a new strategic partnership has now been established by Professor Dries Faems, Co-Director of the WHU Entrepreneurship Center, and Philipp Junge, Program Director E-Mobility & Circular Economy at LANXESS, a specialty chemicals company. While LANXESS will bring its industry expertise and financial support for research programs to the table, the WHU Entrepreneurship Center will contribute its powerful entrepreneurship ecosystem.

As a starting point for this partnership, LANXESS supported the first digital innovation challenge in the "Digital Transformation" course as part of WHU's part-time MBA program. For this challenge, nine student teams explored new digital business models that could help LANXESS grasp the business opportunities of a circular economy. For this challenge, LANXESS provided in-house information that enabled students to develop creative business models in a real environment. During "speed dating" sessions, students received the opportunity to exchange their ideas with several senior LANXESS managers in order to fine-tune their ideas. The winning students team proposed a specific ecosystem-based recycling solution that would allow LANXESS to recover high-quality plastics from end users.

Information about the partners

The WHU Entrepreneurship Center

The WHU Entrepreneurship Center is on a mission to educate the WHU community to promote committed, purposeful, ethical, and sustainable entrepreneurship. It seeks to inspire and support by acting as an intellectual, virtual, and physical hub where people connect, ideas become reality, and resources are shared evenly. Through these efforts, it hopes to build a vibrant entrepreneurial future students, alumni, and other partners of the ecosystem.


LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 6.1 billion in 2020. The company currently has about 14,900 employees in 33 countries. Their core business concerns the development, manufacturing, and marketing of chemical intermediates, additives, specialty chemicals, and plastics. LANXESS is listed in the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World and Europe) and FTSE4Good.